I saw 5 gardai beat up my pal, says man with 113 convictions
WITNESS: Alleged attack after stolen car crash
THE driver of a stolen car has given evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that he saw at least five gardai beating his accomplice with batons following a high-speed chase through the city centre.
Gary Henry, who has 113 previous convictions, was giving evidence in the trial of Garda Gerard Curtis (23), of Ardee, Co Louth. The garda is accused of beating a suspect who was dragged through the smashed window of the stolen car.
Garda Curtis, who is stationed at Store Street, has pleaded not guilty to assault and assault causing harm to John Paul Maughan (19) on Alexandra Road in the Dublin Docks on July 11, 2009.
Mr Henry said he had been drinking in the city that day with Mr Maughan and was "given the keys to a car". He said someone asked him to drive the car to Coolock in lieu of a debt repayment, but he refused to "name names"
He told prosecuting counsel, Maurice Coffey, that he and Mr Maughan were driving down the quays when several garda cars started to pursue them. He drove to the docks and tried to perform a handbrake turn but failed and crashed the car.
He said the gardai smashed the two windows on his side leaving splinters of glass in his eye. He said he then got out and waited to be handcuffed. He claimed he saw at least five gardai surrounding Mr Maughan and hitting him with batons.
He said he was also hit but he did not know by who.
"I wouldn't mind if they started hitting me before they put the handcuffs on so I could block myself," he told the court.
He was arrested and later brought to Beaumount Hospital where the glass was removed from his eye.
Mr Henry admitted to Breffni Gordon, defending, that he had 113 previous convictions including car theft, burglary and possession of weapons.
He denied he was a violent person but admitted he had an alcohol problem and was a recovering drug addict. He agreed with Mr Gordon that he could have killed someone during the chase and that he was a bad driver.
The trial continues.